A Missouri inmate was executed Tuesday for killing a man in a fit of rage over child support payments in 1998, authorities said. Andre Cole became the third convicted killer to be executed in the state this year after several appeals to halt the execution were turned down.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the appeals by Cole’s attorney that he was mentally ill and not fit for execution. Governor Jay Nixon also refused a clemency petition in the case.
The 52-year-old’s attorneys had argued that the death sentence for the black man was unfair because he was convicted and sentenced by an all-white jury, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Cole was reportedly killed by lethal injection at 10:15 p.m. at the state’s death chamber in Bonne Terre and was declared dead nine minutes later. Several questions have been raised in the past over the secretive method used to obtain drug pentobarbital -- which is found in the lethal injection -- after a series of botched executions across the country.
Cole’s attorneys reportedly said that the lethal injection procedure violated the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Attorney General Chris Koster said in a statement, according to the AP, that he hoped "that the sentence carried out tonight brings those forever impacted by this tragedy a sense of justice and a measure of closure."
Cole reportedly attacked his former wife, Terri, at her home over child support payments. He was confronted by Anthony Curtis, a friend who was at the residence at the time, following which Cole repeatedly stabbed him, while Terri survived after receiving injuries. Cole, who had alleged that Curtis initiated the attack, surrendered 33 days after the incident.
Missouri is now one of America’s most aggressive states when it comes to death penalty.